Navigating through life away from the library.
Navigating through life away from the library.

Coffee Talk: “Underground” and “Roots”, These Shows are Needed

Coffee Talk {living outside the stacks}

I’d like to welcome you to Coffee Talk. If you’re new here, this is where I share some of the great and not~so~great stuff that I find on the web. Topics range from news stories that leave me scratchin’ my head to DIYs that I think are absolutely clever. And, who knows, there may even be a recipe thrown in here or there just for fun.

So grab a cup of coffee {or tea or whatever floats your boat} and let’s talk…

Memorial Day 2016, I will be parked in front of my television watching Roots on the History Channel. I remember watching the original version of the miniseries when I was about 7 or 8 and being taught to be embarrassed by our history and the portrayal of blacks as slaves… You see, I didn’t grow up in a household where blackness was embraced. I didn’t grow up hearing about the strength and resiliency of our people. I grew up learning that slavery was our shame and that the only black to ever contribute to American culture was Martin Luther King, Jr. and I was never really too clear on what he’d done other than get a whole lot of folks to hang around in Washington, D.C. To find out the significance of the March on Washington to American history in general and black folks specifically, I had to do the research. On my own. Back in the days before the internet. No easy feat when you’re a kid of about 12 and you have no idea what you’re looking for or who to ask.

What I ended up discovering, changed the way that I viewed myself and the world around me. I ended up reading Roots by Alex Haley when I was 14 years old and walking away from the experience with a clearer and deeper sense of self. Like those folks who watched Roots back in the seventies, I embraced Haley’s story as my own. He researched, wrote, traveled, and spoke for all of us who lacked the funds {age requirements} and knowledge to do so.

I have high hopes for this “re~imagining” of a story that I know well. Especially after getting caught up in the drama that was Underground, which aired on WGN. With its highly rated first season under wraps, the second season is set to air in 2017 and plans for seasons three through five are already being planned out. This series was everything that previous stories about slavery never were: the slaves were not passive characters who were resigned to their lot in life, the runaways were not rebellious folks who got angry with the master and decided to run. These were people with a plan. Their stories were complex. The characters were multidimensional ~ eliciting and demanding love, anger, hope, frustration, empathy, strength, weakness… I’m not going to do a full review, because I think Kelisha said it all here but suffice it to say, if you haven’t seen the show, you need to do so. Now.

Now it’s your turn, what’s got you scratching your head?

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

 

 

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